SoftBank H1 net profit down on one-off factor

SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son, left, speaks during a SoftBank World presentation at a hotel in Tokyo. (AP /Shizuo Kambayashi, File)
Updated 06 November 2017

SoftBank H1 net profit down on one-off factor

TOKYO: SoftBank said Monday its net profit for the first half of the fiscal year plunged after the previous year’s sale of a game development business, but operating profit surged on brisk sales for its US telecom unit.
The Japanese mobile giant said net profit for the six months to September came in at 102.6 billion yen ($900 million), down 86.6 percent from the same period a year earlier.
The dive in SoftBank’s net profits was mainly because it sold former mobile game subsidiary Supercell Oy and the profits from this unit had inflated last year’s figures, it said.
But operating profit soared 35.1 percent to 874.8 billion yen thanks to a sound performance from its US wireless unit Sprint, the company said.
Sales edged up 3.3 percent to 4.41 trillion yen, it said.
The figures came after Sprint and T-Mobile announced over the weekend they had called off merger talks.
T-Mobile, an affiliate of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, and Sprint are the third and fourth largest US wireless operators, respectively.
Together the pair would have had 131 million subscribers, virtually matching second-ranked AT&T and posing stiff competition to market leader Verizon Communications.
SoftBank did not release earnings estimates for the fiscal year through March 2018, which is not unusual for the company.
Led by flamboyant founder Masayoshi Son, SoftBank has embarked on a string of international acquisitions both big and small in recent years.
Son was among the first business people to meet Donald Trump after his November election victory, and was also among dozens of Japanese and American business leaders who attended a speech by the visiting US president in Tokyo on Monday.
Son has pledged to invest $50 billion in business and job-creation in the United States, winning praise from the then president-elect.
Shares in Softbank lost 2.59 percent to close at 9,945 yen on Monday, before the earnings report was released.

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

Updated 08 December 2019

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

  • Macron government will discuss a global digital tax with Washington at the OECD, says finance minister

PARIS: France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies, its finance minister said on Sunday.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 3 television. Paris has long complained about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France.

In July, the French government decided to apply a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

Washington is threatening to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the EU say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat. Le Maire said France was willing to discuss a global digital tax with the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for internet companies.

“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.

He added that new EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

France pushed ahead with its digital tax after EU member states, under the previous executive European Commission, failed to agree on a levy valid across the bloc after opposition from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The new European Commission assumed office on Dec. 1.